Sonoma Raceway took the checkered flag on its 19th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive today, delivering nearly 2,500 pounds of food to two North Bay food banks.
The holiday bounty included more than one ton of non-perishable food items and $2,400 in cash donations, which were divided between the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) in Santa Rosa and Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) in Sonoma. The raceway’s annual food drive has distributed more than 40 tons of food since its inception in 2000.
Items were generously donated at the raceway, Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority, Schell-Vista Fire Station, Sonoma Market and Glen Ellen Village Market, as well as Viansa Sonoma. Donations were also provided by Pedroncelli Mobile Bottling LLC, the National Auto Sport Association and The Save Mart Companies. As has become tradition, the food drive concluded with the annual RKA Wine Country Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, Nov. 23, featuring nearly 80 riders who enjoyed a beautiful ride from Windsor to the race track, as well as a cruise around the raceway’s 12-turn road course. The riders also delivered food and monetary donations to the track.
The deliveries arrived at the perfect time, as both food banks are facing peak holiday season demand.
“Food and Funds Drives are an integral part of the puzzle here at the Redwood Empire Food Bank. With one in every six people in Sonoma County facing hunger, every can, every bag, and every dollar makes a direct and immediate impact to our neighbors in need,” said Cassidy Jourdan, a hunger relief worker at REFB. “A donation of this weight equates to 577 meals now available to our neighbors in need.”
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all that Sonoma Raceway does for us,” said Dee Weaver, volunteer coordinator for the F.I.S.H. Holiday Food Basket Program. “This is a lot of food and it will make a lot of people happy. The monetary donations will help with gift certificates for meat and produce for each participant, as we will have about 450 families sign up for food baskets.”
To find out more ways to get involved, visit refb.org or www.friendsinsonomahelping.org. The raceway’s Season of Giving continues with the High-Speed Toy Drive, which is now under way through Dec. 11.